March 9, 2013

Maria Blois Nets Winner in Final Seconds; Women’s Lacrosse Storms Back to Tip Vermont, 12-11

BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Quinnipiac University women's lacrosse team mounted a furious comeback on Saturday afternoon, as the Bobcats erased a five-goal deficit, including the game-winner with just 2.5 seconds left, to defeat the University of Vermont, 12-11, at Virtue Field. Freshman Maria Blois (Cheshire, Conn.) scored in the waning seconds to lift Quinnipiac to a second straight win in thrilling fashion.

"We are really proud of the team today," said head coach Danie Caro. "We fought back from two five-goal deficits (7-2 and 10-5), and didn't stop working until the final whistle. Vermont played a strong game and really challenged us to be better in the second half."

Trailing by a score of 10-5 with 20 minutes to go, Quinnipiac coupled strong defense with a potent offense to complete a tremendous comeback. Michaela Tinsley (Shrewsbury, Mass.) started the scramble with her first goal of the game off a feed from Sarah Allen (Glastonbury, Conn.); which was then followed by a tally from Chelsea Guerrera (Wantaugh, N.Y.) just two minutes later. Vermont answered with a goal at the 15:11 mark – but failed to score from that point forward. 

The final 10 minutes belonged to Quinnipiac, as the Bobcats dismantled the Catamount defense. Assisted by Allen, Blois cut the deficit to three goals, 11-8; and Tinsley pulled Quinnipiac to within one with back-to-back goals as the clock ticked inside of five minutes.

"We were very balanced on offense - we had three players with three goals (Tinsley, Toomey, and Blois) and three others that scored goals as well," Caro said. "I think that makes us hard to defend."

Vermont sustained the one-goal advantage all the way down inside of 30 seconds, when freshman Aileen Carey (Long Beach, N.Y.) came through for the visiting Bobcats. Carey netted an unassisted goal, the first of her career, with 25 seconds left to tie the game at 11 apiece. Quinnipiac wasn't through yet however; setting the stage for Blois in the closing seconds. The Bobcats won the ensuing draw control and raced down into Vermont territory where Blois drew free position attempt with just five seconds showing on the clock. Blois took two steps toward net and laced a shot over the shoulder of UVM goalie Charlotte Lyons for the dramatic win.

"Our game tying and game winning goals came from freshmen, so it was nice to see them step up when it counted, " said Caro.

Quinnipiac, now 2-2 on the year, was led by four different players with three points on the afternoon. Blois, Toomey and Tinsley each collected hat tricks for the Bobcats, while Allen handed out her eighth, ninth and 10th assists of the season. Phoebe Laplante (New Bedford, Mass.) picked up a game-high seven groundballs and two draw controls and Sarah Ganio (Sudbury, Mass.) caused two turnovers and snagged a groundball in the win. 

Vermont edged the Bobcats in shots, 36-30, groundballs, 28-18, and draw controls, 14-11; but couldn't get past goalie Samantha Tilts (Port Washington, N.Y.) in the second half. Tilts posted 12 saves in the game which included five big ones in the second frame. Quinnipiac also committed just two turnovers in the final 30 minutes – earning a plus-4 margin for the category.

"Sam did a nice job today - anytime she's saving more than 50% of the shots she sees, we're happy," said Caro. "We received strong defensive performances from Kiera Carey (marked Mas and held her to 2 goals), Chelsea Guerrera, Emily Samuelman, and Sarah Ganio. And Phoebe Laplante did a nice job on the draw and in transition late in the game."

With the win, Quinnipiac improved to 4-5 in the all-time series with the Catamounts. The last time Quinnipiac was in Vermont, the Bobcats came away with a 12-11 victory back in 2011.

"We had a lot of people make plays for us today. Despite missing three starters (Maglio, Maroney, and Ochwat), we played as a team and found a way to win, said Caro. "That showed a lot of team character, and should give us confidence."

With the loss, Vermont fell to 3-3 in non-conference play. The Catamounts were led by Jessica Roach who finished with three goals and three groundballs. Lyons stopped eight shots for the Catamounts in the losing effort.

The Bobcats will continue their 2013 season with a visit to intrastate rival Fairfield University on Tuesday March 12th. Action will begin at 3 p.m. on Lessing Field in Fairfield, Conn.

Quinnipiac fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2013 Quinnipiac Women's Lacrosse Schedule is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.

Contact:Bethany Buckholz; bethany.buckholz@quinnipiac.edu